While coffee in Sidama has long been exported around the world, it has only recently become an officially recognized region of Ethiopia. After an overwhelming 98.5% vote in favour of increased autonomy in a referendum in November 2019, the Sidama region was created in June 2020. It is the leading coffee producer in the country, accounting for over a quarter of the yearly production.
This coffee is sourced from the Gora Kone washing station in West Arsi, Sidama. At arrival, station workers pulp and ferment the coffees in large water bins for 42 to 46 hours. Then, they refresh the water every 12 hours until the parchment is ready for drying. But before being placed on the drying beds, the workers wash the parchment with water from the Gerenbicho river, an affluent of the Nensebo river. Drying the parchment takes 10 to 12 days. After this, the station workers pack the coffees and lay them to ‘rest’ for a period of 30-days.
The resulting cup reminds us of peach, tangerine, black cherry and candy.